is the receipt to you? Is it rubbish? To me, it is meaningful, and important
This simple statement about his receipt works is paradigmatic of the artistic
practice of Kentaro Hiroki, born in Osaka Japan.
his cultural journeys and exchanges through the series of receipt drawings.
Since 1997, he has been collecting receipts from places he has visited
and using them in his work. The receipts are derived from various contemporary
spaces; bus, supermarket, museum, record shop, etc. The collective goods
and services with space and time printed on each receipt mark as traces
of our consuming behaviour: hints of subjectivity concerning social,
cultural and economical value in today society. The essential, which
underlines his work, proceeds from everyday conditions. The receipt
is a symbol of a consumer, and can be used to observe how our identity
are continuously constructed and reconstructed in the mass-market circulation.
Therefore, copying receipt for Kentaro does not only depict the critical
reflection between individual identity and the accumulation towards
our daily basis in consumer society, but also it represents a certain
irony towards commodity life and commodity art
His act of copying
receipt is experimented by different approaches ranging from hand drawing,
sculpture, and installation. But for most of the actual-sized
receipts he draws, he undergoes the intricate and fragile process of
copying it by hand with absolute precision. The receipts are returned
to their source in the process of making copy. But we see, not the memory
of the original, but the mechanism by which they are produced. By using
the slow crafting process, it can be seen that the artist performs an
act of recollection. In this sense, it is the collective memory of which
is not a detachment from the ready-made object and experience in the
past, but a re-personalising process of the manually recreated
receipts in the present. This is a profoundly delicate idea in
his artistic works, which tries to combine an element of craftsmanship
in order to put an overwhelming phenomenon of rapid industrialization
of the World nowadays into question.
is that when he shows the piece for the first time without giving description
of the work, nobody realises that the receipt is a hand-made copy!!
As well as the receipt
works, Kentaro explores the projection of shadows partakes of sculpture,
photography, and video. The shadows also comprise the presence of the
viewer in the exhibition space. Initially, his play of shadows fabricated
from found objects; old photographs, and other discards. For this exhibition,
he uses the old photograph of a young seaman, and a cab to start with.
Then, he develops a single channel video piece and a small figure that
links the narrative and materially coded element with each other, served
to transform the viewer into a detective, generate to seek the curiosity
for the young seamans stories.
At the same time
as in the video projection, the artist performs as a shadow of the young
seaman walking in and out of his photographic body, it stresses to the
importance of the construction and (re)construction of subjectivity
since the shadow is alive, and refuses to belong to its original body.
On one hands, it can be said that the artist dissolves in the photograph
appeared to be the shadow in order to set himself as a mirror presenting
the memory of the young seaman, theatricalized, and traced for what
still remain absent in the image. In this way, while photography gives
the proof of existence of the seaman, Kentaro uses the shadow to add
one more element to it, that is the shadow as the proof of the co-existence
between subjectivities and memories, which belong to him, the viewer,
and the image itself. On the other hands, the separation of the shadows
encourage the viewer to form a new kind of narrative as self-language
building up collective stories from the objects which develop a system
writes about his play of shadows that they function like a mirror, which
is not used to reflect the world. In fact, it uses to create archetypes
in which everyone can recognize their own memories. Like Boltanski,
Kentaro proposes his shadow works to observe the notion of subjectivity,
which does not operate like a existent ready-made self being addressed
by the outer world, but it has to be put in the constant process of
construction and (re)construction. Theshadows, in this manner, do not
cast as traces of absence like death, but a tool of testing an interaction
between the self and the (other) selves.
* This exhibition is an artists graduation show for Malmo Art
Academy. Some works were shown at Rooseum Centre for Contemporary Art
in 2002 and Panora in 2003. The titles of the previous exhibitions were
It is not my fault , and Not me respectively.